We’ve all been there before. The night before an exam or deadline you are not done with your revision, what do you do? – The answer, do not pull an all-nighter. I know you’re thinking it, but there are so many reasons why it is counter-productive to your studies. Here is why:
An all-nighter might seem like the answer to all your prayers the night before an important exam. However, taking the time you would usually spend asleep is not healthy. The human brain is not wired to absorb vast amounts of information on no sleep and then retain it all for the next morning. The brain just isn’t designed to perform to its greatest potential throughout the night. Instead, it operates and learns best in the morning and during the day. Want to fit some extra revision in? Sleep, wake up and then revise a little.
While studying, taking part in an exam or writing an essay, you want to maintain ample concentration so that you can produce your best work. An article by the Odd Mattress Company states that “children who don’t get enough sleep have lower academic performance, usually don’t complete as much work as their peers and are less capable of recalling material studied in the past.” If you struggle to keep focused you are not going to get as much work done as you would like, this will creative negative feelings of guilt for not being productive enough and during stressful times we want to maintain positive feelings and attitudes to help us keep motivated. Which leads me to my next point
Being in a good mood is so important. Going into an exam or trying to study when you are exhausted and irritable is not the best mental state to be in when you are under pressure. Not only this, but consistently feeling sleep deprived can lead to more serious mental issues like anxiety and depression.
It sounds dramatic but it is a thing! You could lose control over your ability to actually keep yourself awake. Throughout your day your brain is producing ATP molecules to burn energy. As a result, adenosine byproducts get left behind and as these adenosine levels build up the signal to your brain that your body needs sleep continues to get stronger and stronger until eventually it hits a critical point. When it gets to that stage the emergency switch in your brain is automatically flicked forcing you asleep with immediate affect and without you realising. This can happen multiple times over, you may suddenly wake up and your brain will keep putting you to sleep until you have slept for long enough. Do you want this during an exam? Not really, no. That is the stuff nightmares are made of.
What most people fail to realise is, if you decide to skip an entire nights sleep your body needs to make up that time. If you have multiple deadlines close together or even exams, you are not going to have the time to catch up on that sleep you have missed. The time your body needs to catch up on sleep is going to come out of revision time you had planned for something else, so not only are you impacting your performance currently but you are going to continue to be sleep deprived for the rest of your work too.
Are you currently experiencing exam season right now? What are your top tips for keeping on top of your sleep schedule and introducing regular rest into your study sessions?
I hope these 5 reasons to not pull an all-nighter are helpful, thanks for reading!